Lots of dosh on the line in the desert as the 2013 Dubai World Cup Carnival program opens its tills for North and South American wagering for the fourth season in a row.
There's no clowning around at this Carnival, which started on 10 January with a 10.05am EST post time for the $250,000 Al Maktoum Challenge Round I (G2), covering 1600 meters (about a mile) on the all-weather track at Meydan Racecourse.
This is part of the Maktoum Challenge series that offers key preps for the $10million Dubai World Cup (G1), the world’s richest race, which will be run as part of the richest day of racing on the globe on 30 March at Meydan with prize money of $27million. There will be 10 Carnival race dates prior to the World Cup, peaking with Super Saturday on 9 March, with an additional total of about $10million in purses.
American champions Animal Kingdom and Royal Delta are among the horses in the program, with multiple Grade 1 winners Little Mike and Dullahan also probable runners for the Cup or another event on that program. Trainer Dale Romans plans to ship Little Mike to Dubai early for a prep race at Meydan, following the path set by 2008 Dubai World Cup winner Curlin, prior to World Cup day.
International champions pointing for Dubai include one of Japan’s Triple Crown winners, either the filly Gentildonna or the seasoned international campaigner Orfevre, both owned by Sunday Racing Co.; South African Horse of the Year Igugu; Australia’s Cox Plate (G1) 1-2 finishers Ocean Park and All Too Hard, the latter a half brother to sensational champion Black Caviar; and Indian record-breaking earner and multiple classic winner In the Spotlight. Coolmore will once again send a team to Dubai this year, with Irish Horse of the Year Camelot, who won two-thirds of Britain’s Triple Crown in 2012, a possible contender.
Horses from 21 countries featuring at least 26 Group 1 winners are set to compete at the Carnival for prominent trainers including France’s Andre Fabre; Ireland’s Jim Bolger, John Oxx, and Dermot Weld; South Africa’s Mike de Kock; Britain’s Richard Hannon, Brian Meehan and Mark Johnston, and Germany’s Peter Schiergen.
Following the 10 January opening of the Carnival, other dates for the season are: 17-24-31 January; 7-14-21-28 February; 2 March (Super Saturday); and 30 March(Dubai World Cup day).